Yesterday, these little nectarines showed up at the market. Dyed (branded? scalded? waxed? greased up with dirty stinking chemicals?) with Chinese characters, they read tall (高), shining (照), a thing (事) and happiness (喜).
“No, no, no,” said Echo, a good friend. “You’ve bought the wrong ones, and got them in the wrong order. They should read ‘吉星高照,’ which means ‘good luck.’ It’s an idiom.” (The ones I ended up with, ordered as below, read something like “tall photograph of a happy thing.”)
“Or maybe they’re trying to say ‘喜事高照,’” she mused. “It’s not so correct but it’d still make sense.”
At least the dyed nectarines are better than the tattooed fish we found inside Qingdao’s Huilan Pavilion (that you’ll see on every bottle of Qingdao/Tsingtao beer):
Just try waiting for those critters to swim in the right order!